The Riigikogu on Wednesday passed a new version of a law to amend the Family Benefits Act, Family Law Act and Employment Contracts Act to considerably hike support for large families.
The Riigikogu met for an extraordinary sitting on Wednesday, December 28 to deliberate on family benefits changes President Alar Karis refused to promulgate.
Legislation to amend several acts dealing with benefits for large families (703 UA) was altered slightly and passed with 61 votes for, with just independent MP Siim Kiisler voting against. All three readings of the altered bill were conducted Wednesday.
The Riigikogu Social Affairs Committee proposed changing the law's entry into force from January 1 to February 1, while bigger benefits for large families and other aspects will be executed retroactively from the start of 2023, with the difference in benefit sums for January and February to be covered by the end of May.
The committee also took out a sentence the president found lacked legal clarity on whether to consider the large family benefit when determining child support sums.
In addition to the three proposals by the Social Affairs Committee, another three were presented but not supported.
Center MPs proposed hiking the first and second child benefit from €80 to €100 to match the benefit for the third child, while the Social Democratic Party (SDE) proposed a benefit of €119 per child. They also wished to cancel the large family benefit hike and for indexation to be extended to child and single parent's benefits.
Siim Kiisler proposed dropping indexation for the large family benefit.
The law will see support for the first and second child to grow from €60 and single parent's benefit from €19.18 to €80 per month from January 1. The additional large family benefit will grow from €300 to €650 for families with three to six children and from €400 to €850 for families with seven or more children. The large family benefit will be indexed on par with pensions from May 1, 2024.
The law will also abolish the current condition according to which children 16-19 years of age have to be studying to be eligible for child benefits, among other minor changes.
Editor: Mirjam Mäekivi, Marcus Turovski